Adam Conley

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Dodgers can clinch NL West on Friday

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The Dodgers staved off a four-game series sweep at the hands of the Phillies, winning 5-4 on Thursday afternoon at Citizens Bank Park. The win reduced their magic number in the NL West to one, meaning that a win against the Giants at home or a Diamondbacks loss to the Marlins on Friday will result in clinching the division.

Of course, the Dodgers winning and the Diamondbacks losing hasn’t exactly been a sure thing lately. The D-Backs rattled off a 13-game winning streak from August 24 through September 6. The Dodgers lost 11 games in a row from September 2-11 and were on a four-game slide before Thursday’s win.

The Dodgers will send Rich Hill to the mound to start opposite Jeff Samardzija. The Diamondbacks have Zack Greinke opposing Adam Conley.

And That Happened: Friday’s Scores and Highlights

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Here are the rest of Friday’s scores and highlights:

Marlins 8, Padres 6: Getting tired of watching Giancarlo Stanton smash dingers? No? Good, neither is he. Stanton slugged a pair for the Marlins on Friday night, collecting No. 48 and 49 with a two-run, 462-footer in the first inning and a solo shot in the third.

His second blast was considerably shorter, cresting just 365 feet to put the Marlins up 3-0:

Stanton’s two-homer, five-RBI night and Marcell Ozuna‘s go-ahead home run helped cover a shaky start from Adam Conley, allowing the Marlins to slip back over .500 with their 64th win of the year. Stanton will go for home run No. 50 on Saturday to become the first Major League player with a 50-homer season since Chris Davis in 2013.

Mariners 2, Yankees 1: Following Thursday’s Yankees-Tigers melee, Friday’s loss to the Mariners was quick and quiet by comparison. Gary Sanchez, who is appealing his four-game suspension, went 1-for-5 with a base hit, while the rest of the lineup drummed up just four hits against Ariel Miranda and the Mariners’ bullpen. Yonder Alonso powered the win with a solo homer in the 11th inning, keeping Seattle just half a game under the second wild card spot.

Mets 4, Nationals 2: All things considered, Jacob deGrom is having himself a pretty nice season. The right-hander tied a career-high 14 wins during the Mets’ series opener, striking out 10 and holding the Nats to one run over 7 2/3 innings. It might have little to no implications for the playoffs, but the win was a nice breather for the team, who entered Friday with a 2-9 record over their last 11 games.

Phillies 7, Cubs 1: If you haven’t been following Rhys Hoskins’ sprint toward one of MLB’s all-time rookie home run records, now is the time to tune in. Hoskins cranked his ninth home run in 16 games, putting the Phillies up 2-1 in the first inning with a monster shot off of opposing starter Jose Quintana.

Cesar Hernandez snapped the tie in the next inning with a three-run triple, his sixth of the season. The Cubs, meanwhile, collected and promptly stranded 10 baserunners en route to their 59th loss of the season.

Twins 6, Blue Jays 1: Byron Buxton converted the Twins’ win from a potential nail-biter to a veritable blowout, going 3-for-5 with three hits, a pair of RBI singles and a run scored. His most impressive feat, however, was out in center field:

Orioles 16, Red Sox 3: Speaking of blowouts, the Orioles trounced the Red Sox with more runs than they’d seen in any single win this season. That was almost entirely due to a seven-run spread in the fifth inning, featuring one of three run-scoring errors from the Red Sox and forcing Rick Porcello to take his worst loss of the year, with 11 runs, nine hits and four strikeouts scattered over 4 2/3 innings.

Indians 4, Royals 0: Ryan Merritt has been yanked every which way this season, ping-ponging between Triple-A and the big leagues at least seven times since the start of the year. Thankfully for the Indians, he’s looked dominant in nearly every start he’s made in the majors, and Friday’s outing was no exception. The rookie left-hander fired 6 2/3 scoreless innings, limiting the Royals to seven hits, a walk and three strikeouts as Jason Vargas struggled to his eighth loss of the year.

Reds 9, Pirates 5: What Robert “Bob” Stephenson lacked in an exciting nickname, he made up for on the mound during Friday’s win over the Pirates. Stephenson exited after 5 2/3 innings, allowing two runs and seven hits and distributing a career-best 11 strikeouts while the Reds came one run shy of their 10th double-digit win in 2017.

Braves 5, Rockies 2: The Braves played spoiler to the Rockies’ play for the second wild card spot, keeping them 3.5 games above the Brewers with a decisive 5-2 win in Friday’s series opener. They hit Chad Bettis fast and early, building a three-run lead on Matt Kemp‘s 15th home run of the year, Kurt Suzuki‘s 15th home run of the year, and a pair of supplemental runs from Ender Inciarte and Brandon Phillips.

White Sox 3, Tigers 2: In the end, a pitcher’s duel between the hard-hitting Justin Verlander and Miguel Gonzalez could only be settled one way: with a line drive walk-off RBI single from Yolmer “El del Pinonal” Sanchez.

Rays 7, Cardinals 3: For Ryan Sherriff’s big league debut, there was no opponent more fitting than Kevin “Outlaw” Kiermaier. Sherriff went three innings strong against the surging Rays, besting the Outlaw twice with a pair of force outs in the fifth and a groundout in the seventh and finishing his patrol with two hits, a walk and four strikeouts. The Outlaw had the last laugh, however, as the Rays’ four-run third inning gave them all the cushion they needed to take their 64th win of the season.

Diamondbacks 4, Giants 3: Brandon Crawford shone at the plate on Friday, which, if you’ve followed the incredible obstacles he’s had to overcome in the last few months, was both unexpected and encouraging. The Giants’ shortstop went 3-for-4 with two doubles and two runs scored, helping bring the club within one run of tying the game. They couldn’t quite topple the Diamondbacks, however, who needed only one three-run blast from Paul Goldschmidt — his 30th of the year — to establish the lead.

Athletics 3, Rangers 1: Kendall Graveman and Nick Martinez duked it out for seven strong innings apiece, issuing a collective 13 strikeouts as their respective offenses struggled to back their efforts with an equally impressive showing at the plate. The A’s finally snapped the 1-1 tie in the seventh, banking on Khris “Khrush” Davis’ 36th homer of the year (and second of the night) and plating an insurance run with Matt Chapman‘s RBI single to force the Rangers to a two-game deficit in the wild card standings.

Astros 2, Angels 1: What Cameron Maybin lacked at the plate, he more than made up for on the field. The Angels’ speedy left fielder exhibited Gold Glove potential on Friday, snaring a pair of fly balls in the corner to keep the score knotted 1-1.

At the end of the day, defense (or lack thereof) was also responsible for the Angels’ loss, as Parker Bridwell lobbed a pitch that skipped well past the plate, allowing the Astros to hustle home for a go-ahead run in the sixth.

Dodgers 3, Brewers 1: The Dodgers improved to 8-2 in their last 10 games with another dominant performance over the Brewers this weekend, catapulting themselves to a league-best 91 wins on six innings of one-run ball from Kenta Maeda and three home runs from Domingo “Showmingo” Santana, Logan “Logie Bear” Forsythe and Yasiel “Wild Horse” Puig. The win handed Milwaukee their third loss in five games, keeping them a distant third in the NL wild card race.

And That Happened: Sunday’s Scores and Highlights

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Here are the scores. Here are the highlights:

Tigers 6, Dodgers 1: Justin Verlander dominated the Dodgers, allowing one run on two hits over eight innings, snapping their six-game winning streak. Audition for Verlander? He lives in L.A. in the offseason and would waive his 10-5 rights to play there, I imagine. Not that the Dodgers really need any help.

Royals 7, Indians 4:  Cheslor Cuthbert homered and drove in three runs for the Royals. Between him and Whit Merrifield, Kansas City has more guys with names that sound like they belong to prep school bad guys from a 1980s snobs vs. slobs movie than any team in baseball history. Add Cam Gallagher to that list. He drove in a run too. Afterwards they had a meeting to try to figure out just how they keep losing to the nerd fraternity/poor kid camp/random band of neighborhood misfits in whatever improbable sporting event they’re all competing in. Thing is, they’ll never figure it out AND the nerds/poor kids are gonna steal their girlfriends. Sad.

Angels 5, Orioles 4:  Kole Calhoun and Andrelton Simmons homered and Cameron Maybin drove in the go-ahead run with a pinch-hit single in the eighth. The Angels have won nine of 11. Orioles pitchers issued nine walks. Yep, the Angels walked nine times.

 

Braves 8, Reds 1: Atlanta rode a six-run fifth inning to victory and that inning was powered largely by a Tyler Flowers grand slam. Braves starter Sean Newcomb tossed five shutout innings, allowing five hits but also walking five guys which is sort of what he does. I don’t have a “five times” GIF.

Twins 12, Diamondbacks 5: The Twins scored nine runs in the first — yes, they scored NINE TIMES — thanks in part to an Eddie Rosario grand slam. Per baseball rules, a forfeited game is scored 9-0 in favor of the winning team. The Dbacks shoulda just thrown in the towel after the first inning and hopped their flight to New York a lot earlier. Really, playing out the rest of this one had to pale compared to 2-3 extra hours to do stuff in New York. In other news, Bartolo Colon won his third game in five starts for the Twins. It’s his first ever win over the Dbacks, which was the last team he had never beaten.

Marlins 6, Mets 4: Giancarlo Stanton hit a three-run homer, turning a 2-1 game into a 5-1 game. It was his 45th dinger of the year. Adam Conley backed him up by allowing one run over seven innings and striking out 11 before the Marlins bullpen got a bit roughed up, but they held on. The Mets have lost six of nine, which is not nice.

Rays 3, Mariners 0: Blake Snell tossed seven shutout innings, allowing only two hits. Kevin Kiermaier homered. He went 5-for-12 with a couple knocked in on his first weekend back following a two-month absence, so he definitely landed on his feet. Seattle took two of three from the Rays, however, and remains one and a half games back of the Angels and Twins for the second Wild Card. Tampa Bay is four back.

Red Sox 5, Yankees 1Jackie Bradley Jr. drove in three with an RBI triple and an RBI single and Rick Porcello and three relievers allowed only one run on three hits. Boston extends its lead over New York to five games after taking two of three from the Yankees.

Athletics 3, Astros 2: How are things going for the Astros lately? Like this, mostly:

That’s how two of the A’s three runs scored. The third: on a passed ball. Woof.

Cubs 6, Blue Jays 5: It was tied 3-3 heading into the 10th inning and then the Jays scored two. Most times that’d be enough to win an extra innings game — in fact, per ESPN, teams with multi-run leads in extra innings were 50-0 this season before yesterday — but the Cubs scored three, with one coming in on a wild pitch and two coming in on Alex Avila‘s walkoff single. Two of the Cubs base runners that frame reached on strikeout/wild pitch combinations too. Not an inning Roberto Osuna will remember fondly.

White Sox 3, Rangers 2: Miguel Gonzalez shut the Rangers out for six and two relievers made it eight shutout innings in all. Texas made it close in the ninth thanks to a two-run homer from Rougned Odor, but it was too little too late. Tyler Saladino doubled in two runs for Chicago in their three-run fourth inning, Omar Narvaez singled in the other one.

Brewers 8, Rockies 4Jesus Aguilar hit two homers, driving in three and scored three times. Keon Broxton knocked in a couple of runs with a single. Chase Anderson allowed one run and two hits in five innings in his first start since late June.

Phillies 5, Giants 2: Pedro Florimon doubled in a run early and hit two-run single late to give the Phillies the lead. Rhys Hoskins homered for some insurance in the ninth, his fifth in 11 games. If you’re really bad, having one young kid come up late in the year and look good is a pretty decent silver lining on that cloud. No word what the Giants are doing for silver linings these days.

Nationals 4, Padres 1: Gio Gonzalez allowed one run on five hits — all singles — and struck out eight in six and two-thirds. Daniel Murphy drove in two of the Nats four runs. The Nats took three of four from San Diego.

Pirates 6, Cardinals 3: Josh Bell homered and drove in four runs in the first ever Little League Classic, which took place on a converted Little League field in Williamsport, Pennsylvania, not far from the Little League World Series. Coolest part, aside from the fact that the players all hung out with Little Leaguers all day and the Little Leaguers getting front row seats at the game: after it was over, the major leaguers lined up on the field and did the “good game” high five line, just like you did when you were 12. The highlights, with the handshake at the end: